One Month In Port Townsend

Port Townsend is a boat building, Victorian, seaside arts community that is popular with the retirement set. I’ve been here for one month and so far I have mixed feelings about it. Some people I’ve run into are outright friendly; others give me the feeling that they’re undercover racists but are too ball-less to show it. I could be wrong; wouldn’t be the first time, but that gnawing feeling one gets when one is stared at by strangers in public emporiums and other places seems to invade my thoughts negatively every so often. I’m holding out hope that, being homeless, I’m just accidentally running into the dregs of society and things will take a turn for the positive once I’m domiciled.

As far as the city proper is concerned, it is a small town so I wasn’t expecting wall to wall excitement. There are a lot of parks around, enough so that I can find places to doze off, in my car or out. They have quite a few restaurants, too. The problem here is they’re all expensive. Average meals range in price from $10 to $14 as opposed to Seattle where I’m used to $7 to $12. The two libraries I’ve been to are par for the course. Architecture here is great if you’re into that sort of thing. Crime isn’t frequent or intense here. About four to six people end up in jail every day because of crimes like drug possession, misdemeanor assaults and driving violations. I did notice an apartment complex that, while not ghetto, did seem ghetto-ish from outside. It has a pretty name, too: Nor’West Village. My name is on their wait list but I hope they don’t pick me.

The beaches here are pristine, almost as if no human has ever set foot on them. That was a surprise given how people love to graffiti and litter at every opportunity. I’m still in the shelter and probably will be for the next month or two. I try to come in late and leave early as much as I can because some of the clients rub me the wrong way. There is no lack of negative personalities here, that’s for sure. Next week I’m driving down to Poulsbo to pick up my bi-pap machine; people complain a lot here about my snoring so the machine should help. So far, I’m surviving. Things could be better, things could be worse. I’ll give the city another a month or two. If things don’t start looking up I may reconsider shooting back to Seattle. We’ll see.


Ciao, Port Townsend.

I’ve been staying in the shelter in Port Townsend for about a week. Since it’s closed during the day, I use the free time to set up my mailing address, put in several housing applications, find quiet streets to doze off in my car when I’m tired, find places to hang out during the day (The Boiler Room, the Public Library, Fort Worden State Park) and set up medical care at Jefferson Healthcare. I learned something new this week – I have sleep apnea. The residents at the shelter alerted me to my loud snoring and irregular sleeping patterns and encouraged me to have a pulmonologist check it out. It seems I might have to start sleeping with a CPAP machine due to a lower jaw that’s shorter than normal, a wider than normal neck, and narrow throat passageways which makes breathing during sleep difficult. It seems like if it’s not one thing, it’s another. So far, Port Townsend is agreeing with me. I like it here even though I’ve only been here for nine days. Like the sound outside of town says, this is an arts community. I should blend in like a flake in a snowstorm. And that would suit me just fine.

Should I Rent A Room?

I can afford to rent a room for, say, $400/month + utilities, but I’ve been reluctant to. Every time I’ve done so in the past it ended up disastrously.

Room 1: Lasted 6 months. The renter wanted “a little more” from me than I was willing to offer. When he saw I wasn’t putting out, he came up with this crazy concoction – his Polish cousin was coming to town in three days and he needed my room so I had to go. lame.

Room 2: Lasted 3 months. This were going well with my Irish roommates; suddenly, the landlord sold the house, so all us tenants had to bounce. Lame.

Room 3: Lasted 1/2 month. It was at this woman’s house. She had more rules than the Gestapo so I bounced.

Room 4: Lasted 2 1/2 months. This was at the crack motel on Beach 116th St in Far Rockaway, Queens. I had attempted suicide. Loneliness and drug abuse will do that to ya.

I’m reluctant to take a room somewhere, even if I have my own private entrance and/or bathroom, because of the plethora of rules hiding in the woodwork. People don’t tell you up front what their desires are – they’d lose potential renters that way. They simply spring the cold, hard truths on you later on, and they’re never pretty. I’m not aggressively going to hunt for a room, though. If one comes along, that’s fine, otherwise I’ll just hold out for a subsidized apartment in Port Townsend.

Speaking of PT, I was going to drive up there this morning and spend a few days, maybe sleep in the shelters or my car. They’re not as lenient about street parking as Seattle, though. Here, you can leave your car in the same spot for 72 hours. In PT, it’s 24 hours. BTW, I’m reluctant to spend the few days in PT, even though I really should, because the ferry to get there cost $15 each way. That’s pretty dear when you’re on a fixed income. If I don’t get a room soon I’ll probably go up there after I receive my laptop battery from Amazon and Jefferson County Housing Application in the mail. In other words, perhaps Wednesday or Thursday. Oh, yes. I can’t wait to be free like a bird, flying high in the (supposedly) friendly and artistic skies of PT.